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Day 749 – a Hmm 

I have probably said I am not fond of painting trees in watercolor. 

WIP – Oconaluftee River Great Smoky National Park

 ok the river was a green brown but really no blue at all!? I think I can salvage this one. We shall see. I did try to lift some of the color with a Mr Clean eraser BUT the Strathmore 500 watercolor paper  is not too fond of that.  The paint does love the paper so I wish it was easier to lift it. 

 Arches is supposed to be quite easy to lift from. We shall see. I have a stack of 8×10 Arches 300# ripped up to sketch on. Then I am going to bind them into a sketch book after I get a pile of them done. 

I want to paint like Charles Reid (check out his page on Facebook Charles Reid Art) does but tend to use them like acrylics. I can paint just about anything else with watercolor but trees and landscapes. I guess MORE practice. Lol 

WIP – Near Newfound Gap Great Smoky National Park

Definitely not what I was thinking of when I started this. The bottom is supposed to be rhododendrons  so I used masking fluid. So far it’s not working for me. A great sky though. 


Great Smoky National Park Near the Chimneys. Again not what I had in mind. 

I guess that’s the challenge of watercolor sometimes you win. Sometimes you totally screw up. I post my screw ups because it’s good to know you have company when you mess up your watercolors dear reader. 

Hands down watercolor is the hardest medium.  And that’s all I am going to say!! Thanks for reading. 

Since more practice is required this one is looking good for that. Yesterday I took a photo of this silly doe hiding in the neighborhood woods by the road   I guess she thought I couldn’t see her standing in the light looking out at me. 


The Van Gogh Museum posted  this one online yesterday. Nice woods. So I guess I need to try it once we are over big wedding shower weekend aka this weekend. Son is getting married soon. 
Margaret xxx 

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Day 748 – The Phoenix


A fun “American” restaurant in downtown Brevard NC home of the Brevard Summer Music Festival in the heart of the Western North Carolina Mountains. 

Specializing in farm to table the  food is delicious. The most amazing crab hush puppies more like a crab cake than a hush puppy and outstanding hamburger.


 But the best was the desert I mean my martini Blackberry Shine made with blackberry syrup and moonshine. Better than a desert. 

I hear that Steve Martin has been known to jam with the musicians that play here. He has a house nearby at Lake Toxaway. How awesome would it be to hear him play his banjo for the cost of dinner?

Painted with Ted Nuttalls transparent palette. 

Thanks for checking by.   

Margaret xxx

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Day 747 a Bird


Probably my favorite bird at Parrot Mountain. I am a sucker for blues and this hyacinth parrot was just a beautiful deep blue. He’s the endangered bird in the movie Rio. 

And yes his eyes and beak are a bright yellow. 

Painted with Ted Nuttalls transparent colors. Wet on wet and splatters after he dried. 


Another sock done. I did this one in 24 hours and I exercised and cooked dinner too. Fasted sock ever.  Crystal Palace mini Moochie yarn. 

Thanks for reading n

Margaret xxx

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Day 746 More GNSP

Mt Le Conte 8×10″ watercolor Strathmore 500 watercolor paper 

Drawing Mt Le Conte from the Gatlinburg Bypass overlook. 


 Mt Le Conte in the Spring last year. 5×10″Aquabee supertablet Pentel brush pen. 

From the same overlook but the other end of the car park. Odd how much of Gatlinburg you can see depending on where you park. 

Once again Ted Nuttals transparent colors.  The foreground grass was done by scratching wet paint with an old palette knife. 

Back to madly knitting my freestyle socks. 

Finished last nite. 


Started this morning. 

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Day 745 GNSP


Old Evans Family Cemetery tucked away in the woods near the Great Smoky National Park Headquarters. The first sketch I did when I was leaving. 

I drew so much it took me four hours to drive thirty miles.  But the park is gorgeous anytime of the year and something gorgeous is around every turn whether it’s a mountain view, a quiet stream dashing over rocks or wildflower. Just a drive thru the tunnel of trees is enjoyable. 

Painted with Ted Nuttalls transparent colors. A lot of splattering some negative painting. 

Thanks for reading. 

Margaret xxx

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Day 745 – Arrowmont Instructor Show

While I was in Gatlinburg the Arrowmont  instructors were having their show. It will be up til August  20. 

I thought I would share it with you even though a lot of the same art is in the Arrowmont catalog. 

A picture of the artists name follows the picture of the piece. 




Thanks for checking by. Hope u enjoyed the show. 

Margaret xxx

Day 744 Saturday

You know if I am home I am off life drawing or should I say painting. A random sampling of today’s work. I know some for out the door and at least one that was fabulous and could not get a photo of it. 

Ilania. Cropped. from the big one

24×30″ Acrylic 

Because I got her head too big some how. She looks a little anorexic. Whole Ilania is slim she’s not this slim. I think it’s going to be easy to fix but we shall see on Wednseday. 

Strangely I got her foreshortened leg and foot right with no problem. And that was the hard part. Always is. Not the head. 

I started out with her head much smaller – and the right size-but kept trying to give her more face than hair because it was too big. Hmm guess that was the wrong approach.  Think I will paint out her chin and lips with some white and Quin gold and paint them back in.

Colors  Quin gold pyrrole red titanium white burnt umber dioxzine purple cad red light nickel azo gold. 

Al Beyers painting. Most of these are done in an hour and a half. Or less with breaks so the fact that any look good is amazing.  And  I like this one.

Drew Murphys like Drew Ilania is larger than life. His colors are wonderful. 

I wish I knew the guy’s name that drew this lovely pastel. I talk to him all the time but clueless as to his name. 

Cathe Dennis charcoal and conte crayon. Does it look like Ilania NO but I love it anyway. 

Tom Needhams lovely watercolor. 

Fred Bakers outrageous wild colored woman. 


And the engineers whose name I should know too because I talk to him even more than blue guy. 😏 I will learn their names. I really will. 

Anyway that’s it for today. Tune in later this week for an improved Ilnia I hope! 

Thanks for reading. 

Margaret xxx


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Day 743 – Wild Plum Tea Room

One of my favorite places to eat in Gatlinburg. delicious food. An amazing flourless chocolate torte.  I do wish I had gone back and tried the alcoholic root beer float with their homemade vanilla ice cream especially now that I am back on Lo  carb! 😏


We usually eat outside but since it was raining the deck with its umbrella covered tables was closed off. 

It’s in a charming old cabin on the Artist Loop almost all the way to BuckHorn Inn the other best food in Gatlinburg. Both are pricey. 

The Plum Tea Room is only open from 11-3 but I hear they do awesome take ours.  

Paint is Ted Nuttalls transparent colors. 

Since my phone is dying that’s it for today. 

Thanks for checking by. Have a great weekend and stay out of the heat. 

Margaret xxx

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Day 742 Return to Parrot  Mountain!! 

Happy Bastille Day!! Vive la France!! 

Love that place!! Rescued birds living in the middle of a gorgeous mountain top garden. 

I was experimenting with the tree backgrounds in these. Parrot Mountain is a garden in the woods. 

 

The parrots and cockatoos were just screaming draw me in thier hat villages.

If there’s anything I don’t like to paint in watercolor is trees and lots of greenery. I never know whether to go leafy or washy. So I did both. 

The washy background which was much easier to do. 

 I laid down a ground of light yellow green. Then kept adding darker and darker greens trying to loose some of my edges either with a damp brush or blotting with a wad of Kleenex.  

Doing some negative painting  I added dark blues and greens along the top of the bushes and then I splattered the bushes.  

I also flipped thru my two go to tree references for a quick refresher.  

Don’t know if it helped. 


They both have great color mixing tips. And the green chart in the second book. 


I am trying to practice for the painting of the big mountain strip- deciding on colors and techniques to use. At three feet long it’s a big watercolor. 
I also splattered both of the sketches.  The dirt on the cockatoos and the bushes on the parrot one. 

Anyway another busy day so off I go. Hope you are chilling in this  heat! 104 yesterday!! 😳😎

Thanks for reading. 

Margaret xxx

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Day 741 And more painting 


One thing about going out of town is that you eat out a lot. Various members of our family have gone to Gatlinburg most of thier lives. 

Little off beat places like the Whole Earth Cafe make the trip worth while. 
Kitschy and organic and right on the East Parkway it’s a great spot to eat. It’s only open for lunch from 11-3 but the food is awesome and the chef owner Jan is a sweetheart. 

Trying to eat Lo carb I had eaten chicken salad at McAllisters the day before. Loaded with sugar. 


So I went to Whole Earth the next day. Delicious no sugar added chicken salad with real tomatoes not those hot house spongy things. 

I talked to the chef Jan/owner and she said she had never seen a recipe for chicken salad with sugar added. 

The original sketch 

One of my pet peeves is all the sugar the food industry needlessly adds to our food especially when I am trying to do Lo carb. 


I do love these quirky “garden statuary. ”


And in the same parking lot you will find the salt and pepper museum. What more can you need? Awesome food and salt and pepper museum?! 

Oh a yarn and weaving store that has grown huge in just a few years. 


And a junk store. All in the same Winery shopping center. Also a wine store and a fly fishing store. 
Thanks for reading.

Margaret xxx